Considering a new career as a professional truck driver but finding the cost of driver training to be a prohibitive roadblock standing in your way? The average cost to attend a truck driving school is now around $4,000 to $6,000, leaving many that would like to drive a truck for a living without the ability to pay that expense. You may not realize it, but there are in fact a number of grants and training reimbursement programs out there that can help you attend truck driving school and join the rapidly expanding field of transportation.
Workforce Investment Act
WIA grants are available under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Adult and Dislocated Worker Program. This grant is designed to help workers that have become unemployed due to economic downturns in their particular fields and to people seeking work that do not have the necessary skills to find sustainable employment on their own. Assistance under the WIA program will pay for truck driving school and other types of vocational training. To find out if you are eligible, visit your local One-Stop Career Center.
Trade Adjustment Assistance
TAA grants are offered by to the U.S. Department of Labor to assist displaced workers that have found themselves laid off due to shifting foreign trade. If it is determined that you have lost your job through no fault of your own and the loss of your position is due to a change in international trade, you could receive money to fund retraining and other benefits. Trade adjustment assistance can be used to attend truck driving school and many other vocational training programs. To apply, you may either file an online petition or visit the One-Stop Career Center nearest you.
Driver Training Reimbursement Programs
If you are not eligible for a grant to attend truck driving school, you may still be able to afford this education by signing up with a trucking company that will either pay for your training or reimburse you for that expense if you agree to work for them for a period of time. Each program is a bit different and the commitment you must work for the company funding your education can vary from a number of months to several years. If you are trying to find employment with a specific trucking company, you should inquire directly to find out if that employer offers any type of driver training or reimbursement program. Here are a few companies that offer these programs:
Through partner schools in California, Texas, Utah and Indiana, C.R. England guarantees work upon completion of this driver training program. To speak with a representative or apply, call 1-800-421-9004.
Offers $3,500 for driver training in exchange for a one year employment commitment. To inquire about working with Prime, contact a company recruiter at 1-877-774-6356.
Will pay up to $6,000 in tuition reimbursement received monthly after one month of successful employment. Call a Schneider recruiter at 1-800-447-7433 for more information.
A total tuition reimbursement of $3,900 can be paid off by working a total of 26 months for Swift, following graduation. Call 1-866-437-3050 to find out more about the Swift Driving Academy.
Federal Student Grants
Most truck driving school programs are considered too short to use federal grants such as the Pell Grant or FSEOG, but it is not impossible to use these grants to pay for driver training. You may still be able to apply for most federal student aid if the driver training you plan to complete is part of a larger degree program offered by a vocational school or technical college. But as most truck driving schools only take several weeks or months to complete, you can not apply for a federal education grant for these shorter programs.